I have accomplished a decent amount in my 25 years of life. To date, some of my proudest moments include graduating from college with a nursing degree, passing my boards, saving some lives, leaving the comfort of Michigan for opportunity in Chicago, adopting a cat (the head of my household), and starting my writing career. But my greatest achievement of all? The time I won an art contest in the fourth grade.
I remember the piece vividly: a mud-brown bowl that lovingly cradled an assortment of my favorite fruits inspired by the bowl of faux fruit my mom kept on our kitchen table. I hadn’t taken a big interest in art until my Mrs. Frizzle-esque art teacher introduced us to oil pastels. I remember my first time using this “super-crayon” and being absolutely shook. The pigmentation was unlike anything I’ve ever experienced and I truly felt on top of the world as I dragged it smoothly across a blank page of off-white scrapbook paper. I put my whole heart and soul into that waxy-looking fruit medley.
My fourth-grade artistic victory was an isolated success but one I will treasure forever. I’ve retired my oil pastels but my respect and appreciation for art live on. One of my favorite ways to express my own style while paying tribute to artists and designers is to invest in wall art for my home. While, traditionally, buying art can be considered a pricey feat, the new age of digital downloads has allowed for a more affordable alternative which has been a game-changer for those of us who are ballin’ on a budget.
Here’s how it works:
I made the financially crippling mistake of buying a surplus of custom art prints for my apartment back in January. I thought, $400 for nine art prints of different sizes? Sure, an investment, but it’ll be worth it. I didn’t take frame sizing into account, which, if you don’t buy a standard-sized piece of art, can pose a huge financial challenge. Spoiler alert: none of the art prints that I bought were standard-sized and I learned the hard way that custom framing is expensive AF.
Most artists that offer digital downloads will send you a link after purchase that allows you to download a print to save to your computer. Once you save it, it’s yours to use forever and ever and ever, which allows for a lot of flexibility if you later decide that you want your print to go in a larger/smaller frame or move it to fit a different space in your home. How you decide to crop, frame, and print your image is up to you. Jenny Komenda, founder of Juniper Home and Jenny’s Print Shop, suggested using a home printer and photo paper for small prints (8 x 11.5 and under), Costco, Walmart, Walgreens, and Target for medium-sized prints (11 x 14 to 20 x 30), and Mpix, Miller’s Lab, Aspen Creek, or Kinkos for larger prints (greater than 20 x 30). If you’re planning to fill an IKEA frame, keep in mind that their sizes vary slightly from other American retailers. Do yourself a favor and buy the frame of your choice first so you know you’re printing the right size.
So ladies, learn from my mistake and save some money. You don’t have to sacrifice your personal style to stay in budget! Keep scrolling to shop our favorite digital downloads that will help you to personalize any space: